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THE COURTS.—TO-DAY.

SUPREME COURT.—CIVIL SITTINGS. (Before His Honor Mr Justice Williams.) WINMILL V, GALLIE AND OTHERS. A suit to determine the validity of the will of John Gallie. Mr J. F. M, Fraser appeared for plaintiff; Mr P, R. Chapman for defendants. This case was resumed at 10.30 this morning, Mr Fraser continuing, for the third day, his address to the Court. He commented on the evidence as to Gallic'* behaviour in church, which counsel submitted was characterised by at least eccentricity and helplessness. He used to have the places in the Bible found for him, which showed that he did not know what was going on.

His Honor ; Yes, he used to have the place* in the Bible found for him, but that surely implies an assumption that he could follow what was being read. Mr Fraser continued that Gallia's behaviour in church was eccentric, at all events. Then as to his going to the barber's every Saturday to be shaved, it was shown that he had to 1 e taken there by one of the children, and w bile there was not treated as any ordinary man would be. He used to allow the barber to pass over him and attend to customers who arrived later than he, and this passing over of his regular turn in a barber’s shop was about the last right that a reasonable man would allow ts be taken from him. Then again, when customers might be discussing public matters, Gallie used to interfere in an excited way, and the barber would exclaim to the customers “ Don’t take any notice of him—he’s a little bit wrong.” It was also shown that while Gallie was physically able to chop woodfordomesticpurposeßjthegardeningthat he did was unintelligently done. Much had been said about his voting at elections, but counsel relied on the evidence for plaintiff on this point, as on many others, as showing that the contentions for the defence were hollow and worthless. Counsel now came down to the important question ol Gallic’s mental condition when in the lunatic asylum in 1865. Mrs Gallie hod sworn in her evidence that as Gallie was when in the asylum so he was before he was put in, so he was when let out, and so he was on the day when he made the will that there was ne difference, mentally, in him all the time she knew him. The family in their evidence treated this asylum episode very flippantly, but against that there was the evidence of thetwo doctors who examined hiss and certified as to his insanity, and also the evidence of the conductors and officials ef the asylum, who testified to his being afflicted with dementia and having no mind at all. There was certainly evidence that Gallie had protested against being kept in the asylum—that he had said he should not be there—and that was of course very important for the other side; but on the whoto evidence with reference to this episode counsel submitted that he had conclusively proved that Gallie was incarcerated because hehad been proved to be insane. Counsel alto submitted that as Gallie was in the asylum so the Court must assume he was afterwards, and that he was therefore incapable of transacting any business. To overcome snob a conclusion the other side mast, counsel contended, show complete restoration to mental health, In plaintiff’s favor there was the evidence of no less than five qualified medical men—Drs Nelson, Hulme, Burns, Hocken, and Borrows. Dr Nelson attended Gallic when he got the stroke," and, according to the evidence of Lydia Ludford, told Mrs Gallie “Your husband will never be the same man again.” Dr Hocken, when, in the house with Gallie and some other people, and when some remark was made by one of the latter that might be expected te jar on Gallie’s feelings if hp understood It, exclaimed “Qh, never mind poor Gallie; he’s suffering from softening of the brain." Then there was the joint certificate of Drs Hulme and Burns that Gallie was a fit subject to be incarcerated in the asylnm, and subsequent to that the evidence of Drs Hocken and Borrows as to the impressions they formed of his mental capacity, gathered from what they saw of hint while attending other members of the family. Dr Borrows in addition attended Gallie once just before he died, and in his burial certificate gave as the cans# of death “ Softening of the brain, sixteen years; general paralysis, two years." His Honor remarked that softening of the brain did not necessarily imply insanity ; it did not go so far as that. Mr Fraser agreed that such was the ease, but submitted that the mental condition of a man who had suffered from softening af the brain for sixteen years must be bad. His Honor assented, and added that a careful medical man, such as Dr Borrows was, would not give sneb a certificate without reason.

Mr Fraser proceeded to deal with Gallie’s mental condition after he returned home from the asylum. After contrasting the evidence as to Gallie’a mental condition given on either side, counsel requested His Honor to take a note of the manner in which he had, during the hearing of the case, treated this particular point. His friend Mr phapman had brought nine independent witnesses to testify to'Gallie's mental condition, while he (Mr Fraser) bad replied With fifty-seven independent witnesses, exclusive of medical ftien. This overwhelming preponderance of unbiassed testimony showed that Oallie’s mental condition was such that he was wholly incapable of doing anything that required any mental effort, and it was also clear that his will was executed while he was in such a mental condition. [Left sitting.] Ciry POLICE COURT. (Before Messrs B. Rutherford, J, Logan, and J. P. Jones, J.P.s.) Drunkenness.— One first offender was convicted and discharged; while Lawrence East (one previous conviction) was fined ss, in default twenty-four hoars’ imprisonment. Vagrancy.— Joeeph Crehe was charged with having insufficient means of lawful support. Accused, whose case had been remanded for a week in order to give him a chance to leave the town, did not appear; bat Sergeant-major Bevin stated that the accused had left the town.—Charge withdrawn.

Larceny. —William Harding, a youth, was charged with stealing on the 3rd last, one pair ladies’ boots, valued at Os, the property of Ellen Peatt.—Prosecutrix in her evidence said that she missed a pair ef boots from her bedroom. The boots produced were the ones which she bought and placed in her bedroom —Constable Parker said that when arrested accused was wearing the boots produced, which prosecutrix identified as her property. Accused said that he had bought the boots from a younger brother, and also said that if he had known they belonged to Mrs Peatt ha would have returned them if she had asked for them.—Accused’s sister said that he brought the boots into the house and wore them,—Accused said he bought the boots from his younger brother, and tried them on in the presence of two boys,—Sergeantmajor Bevin said that accused had been previously convicted of larceny and sentenced to the Industrial School.—Sergeant Macdonnell suggested a remand, as the boy’s story might be true.—Accused was convicted and discharged, to come up {or sentence when called upon. Petty Larceny.— Bose Greenfield was charged with stealing on the 10th inst. one bottle of beer, the property of Catherine Crawford,—Accused did not appear, and as a summons had been served personally upon her, at the suggestion of Sergeant-major Bevin, a warrant was issued for her apprehension,

Disorderly Behaviour.— A lice Clayton was charged with behaving in such a manner whereby a breach of the peace was occasioned, Constable Oongh said that accused was fighting with another woman. A great disturbance was occasioned, and a large number of persons congregated.— Accused was fined 5s with costs, in default twenty-four hours’ imprisonment, Robbery.— Charles Price, Jessie M'Emn, and William M'Kay were charged with stealing three petticoats, two chemises, and one counterpane, valued at L2 16s 6d, the property of Matilda Robertson. Mr R. L. Stanford appeared for the accused, who pleaded not guilty. The evidence of prosecutrix went to show that on Tuesday ;T: , T -1»- V

morning the accused came to her house and stole tlie articles mentioned; they said they came over the fence, while the accused M'Eivan admitted coming through the window. Afterwards the articles mentioned were found to be missing.—Evidence was given by several others, none of whom saw the articles actually taken, but saw that the goods were missing subsequently.—The case was remanded until next Friday for the production of further evidence.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890614.2.22

Bibliographic details

THE COURTS.—TO-DAY., Issue 7933, 14 June 1889

Word Count
1,441

THE COURTS.—TO-DAY. Issue 7933, 14 June 1889

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